Aberdeen are lining up a move for Motherwell’s Scotland Under-21 midfielder Allan Campbell in January.
Campbell is out of contract at the end of the season and it is understood the Dons are keen to tie him up on a pre-contract during the winter window.
Motherwell are keen to retain Campbell and have offered him a new deal.
The midfielder is also on Hibernian’s radar, with the Easter Road club lining up a potential move before the summer window closes on Monday.
However, it is understood the Steelmen will look for up to a seven-figure sum to let Campbell go this summer, which would be outwith Hibs’ budget.
Aberdeen hope to secure Campbell’s commitment on a Bosman deal in January that would see him move to Pittodrie when his contract expires.
As a product of the Fir Park youth system, £200,000 in development compensation would still have to be paid.
Derek McInnes recently praised Campbell for his performance in Motherwell’s 3-0 defeat of Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Following the defeat earlier this month, McInnes said of the Well midfielder: “Campbell encapsulated Motherwell’s performance.
“We needed more Allan Campbells in our team today.”
Hibs are unlikely to have the financial clout to lure Campbell away from Motherwell in the summer and could also be pushed into a January move.
Easter Road Head of Football Graeme Mathie has identified Campbell as a player they want to try and target and he has the full backing of boss Jack Ross.
Aberdeen have beaten Hibs to the signing of two midfielders in the last year.
They pipped the Edinburgh club to the capture of Funso Ojo last summer.
This season the Dons also beat Hibs to the signing of Scotland U21 international Ross McCrorie from Rangers, initially on a loan deal with a £350,000 three-year permanent move next summer.
Campbell was the driving force behind Motherwell’s win at Pittodrie that ended Aberdeen’s six-game winning streak.
Aberdeen returned to winning ways domestically with an emphatic 3-0 defeat of Ross County in Dingwall on Sunday.
McInnes has challenged the Reds to go into the international break on a positive note with another win in Friday night’s home clash with St Mirren.
He said: “St Mirren is a different challenge and we will try to finish off this block of games positively.
“I have been really pleased with the majority of the work – the Motherwell game in isolation.
“That loss to Motherwell was quite freakish in how there were uncharacteristic mistakes and losing so many goals in quick succession when that hasn’t been the case prior.
“It was important we moved on from that with a convincing performance at Ross County.
“We didn’t have a failing in that game, everyone was very good.
“Now we want to get back to winning ways at Pittodrie.
“St Mirren will make it difficult but we have to make sure we remind ourselves a lot of what was good about the performance against Ross County and take it into that game.”
Meanwhile McInnes praised attacker Scott Wright for his impressive start to the season.
Wright was ruled out for most of last season following knee surgery, but has been a key starter for the Reds this term.
McInnes said: “Scott having had a year out with his knee, has come back with extra vigour and extra determination.
“That is always good for someone like Scott and his game.
“He’s always been a lovely footballer, a quick player, but there’s a wee bit more to him.
“He’s getting assists and he’s getting into goal scoring positions.
“I do feel that he is one who can clearly improve as he gets the games in.
“I’ve been delighted with him.”